What is in the collection?

The catalogue contains descriptions of specific archive items and their unique reference numbers. More records and images are added regularly.

Colour image showing a laptop with the M&S Archive catalogue page open on the screen

Using the Archive Catalogue

Our video will help get you started with search options. Using screenshots of real searches we take you through the steps involved in a search and what sort of information is available for you.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

FAQs

How do I search the Archive Catalogue?

You can use the basic search box to type what you’re looking for, just like you would if you were using a search engine. Or you can use Browse Themes to see what we’ve got on a particular subject. You can use Advanced Search to search title and description fields for our chosen terms, narrow your search to specific dates or specific parts of the collection. The more fields you use, the more specific your search will be. See our film above for tips.

Why can't I find what I'm looking for?

Searching will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so try several related terms if you can’t find what you want. Alternatively, it might be that we haven’t catalogued the items that you are looking for yet, or that the M&S Archive doesn’t hold the material you’re looking for. There are some gaps within our archive collection (for example, many early records were pulped as part of the national response to paper shortages during the Second World War 1939 –1945) and the M&S Archive does not provide access to current business information about M&S. If you can’t find what you are looking for please contact the archive team.

Why is there no image or a poor quality image for my item?

We’re adding to and upgrading the images we’ve got, but it’s a massive task that will take time. Please contact us if you can’t find what you need.

Can I use images for my research?

You are welcome to use the Archive Catalogue images for personal study or research. Conditions apply and all images are subject to UK copyright law. You must contact the archive team before sharing, reproducing or publishing our images in any way.

Can I click something in the Archive Catalogue to access the digital version of the archive?

No, but make a note of the unique archive reference number and switch to our separate Digital Archive to see if the archive item is available to access digitally.

What does Access Status mean?

This tells you whether the item you are interested in is accessible. Some records are restricted or closed access due to Data Protection legislation, because they are commercially sensitive or because they are very fragile.